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Evonik announced that it has started up on schedule its new plant complex in Antwerp, Belgium, for the production of fumed silica. With this, it can now serve the high demand for fumed silicas marketed under the Aerosil brand, said the company. Typical applications include paints and coatings, advanced adhesive systems, transparent silicones, and non-flammable insulation materials. Evonik said it has invested a sum in the upper double-digit million euro range in the new plant complex.

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Sabo SpA, a producer of hindered amine light stabilisers (HALS), and Ziko Ltd, a supplier of UV absorbers and heat stabilisers, announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership on the UV formamidine class UV absorber Sabo Stab UV1. Ziko has one of the biggest production capacities for the formamidine class UV absorber. According to Sabo, the demand for the product has been steadily increasing and is expected to continue to grow for applications in polyurethane based thermoplastics and sealants.

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Nouryon announced that it has increased production capacity for dialkyl peroxide by 25 % after completing a major expansion project at its Ningbo, China, site. The product, branded as Perkadox 14, is essential in the manufacture of many elastomer-based products, ranging from sports goods to industrial wires and cables.

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Faurecia announced the creation of a global centre of expertise for hydrogen storage systems at its R+D centre in Bavans, France. The company said it will invest in research and development of new-generation high-pressure tanks that are more efficient and lighter, as well as in a test centre to characterise these tanks.

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As part of an organisational realignment, BASF will reduce its workforce by a total of about 6,000 positions until the end of 2021. As a result, the company expects savings of EUR 300 million as part of the ongoing excellence programme, which is anticipated to contribute EUR 2 billion to earnings annually from the end of 2021 onwards.

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Covestro has signed an agreement with H.I.G. Capital for the sale of its European Systems Houses business. According to Covestro, the sales proceeds amount to a high-double-digit euro million sum. The decision to sell the systems houses was taken as part of its ongoing portfolio optimisation process that includes the sale of its North American spray polyurethane foam systems house in 2017, said the company.

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The K 2019 trade fair for plastics and rubber will take place from 16 – 23 October 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany, where the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association will be focusing on the recycling sector. A series of interviews will shed light on why it is doing this and the significance of the "Circular Economy" for member companies of the association. In the first contribution, Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the Board of Management of the trade association, gives his views on the subject. The amount of plastic waste is growing steadily worldwide. In order to use resources sustainably, waste has to be given a value, it ought to be recycled and not disposed of, as is still the case in many countries around the world. Ulrich Reifenhäuser is convinced that there is a need for a comprehensive change of awareness in society. The end consumers need to be educated and informed. At the same time, an appropriate political framework has to be provided. Mechanical engineering supports resource-efficient production and recycling technologies, but brand owners also play a key role in promoting the acceptance of products made from recycled materials.

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KraussMaffei Berstorff is planning a 38,000 m<sup>2</sup> plant in Hanover-Laatzen for 750 employees (Source: KraussMaffei Berstorff)

KraussMaffei Berstorff announced that it will build a new plant for extrusion technology in Hanover-Laatzen, Germany. At the beginning of June 2019, the company signed a rental contract with committee reservation with the company VGP, a project developer for commercial real estate, thus firing the starting shot for the approximately 55,000 m2 production hall and office complex. Work for the plant on the 80,000 m2 area in the Laatzen / Rethen Ost business park should be completed by the end of 2022. The new location will have a state-of-the-art TechCenter, production and office facilities, and provide space for up to 750 employees.

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On the day prior to the Chinaplas 2019 opening, a newly released Salary Survey found that German and Austrian machinery manufacturers in the plastics and rubber industry saw the staff size of their Chinese entities grow steadily over the last six years. Similarly to 2017, the majority of respondents have a staff size of above 100 employees, up from 10 – 50 employees in 2013 and 2015.

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LyondellBasell announced that it has ended discussions with Odebrecht S.A. concerning the potential acquisition of Braskem. Odebrecht S.A. is the controlling shareholder of São Paulo-based Braskem.

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